Ad
Ad
Ad
Pages: [1] 2 »   Bottom of Page
Print
Author Topic: Shooting/scanning MF Film  (Read 43420 times)
SCQ
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 23


« on: September 20, 2009, 08:13:32 PM »
ReplyReply

So, I've had a digital camera for the longest time, upgrading from a Rebel XT to a 5D in the past 3.5 years, and finally, one day, I sold it all for an M8. The reason for what can arguably be considered a "downgrade" was because I stopped enjoying the dSLR, and the Leica rekindled my love for the feel of older cameras and the process it was to take a photo. Sure it was digital, but it was a little more involved than aim-halfpress-click.

While the M8 makes the near-perfect snapshot/spontaneous camera, the parallax in framing made it difficult to use in certain situations, and so I've thought about getting an SLR again. However, I quite like the square format, and I am considering getting an old Hasselblad 500C/M. A part of the reason is because I love the way Hasselblads handle - and handling is quite important for me. The problem is the high cost of medium format backs - even used ones run in the thousands.

If I am not concerned with inconvenience, how viable is it to shoot, develop, and scan your own 120 film? Obviously, I would be less shutter-happy with the Hasselblad and spend more time composing and framing before the shot - so the cost of film isn't an issue. It's more of just how expensive it is to get acceptable quality scans? I am considering shooting exclusively B/W - and occasionally have a local lab process color - and scan it using a cheap flatbed with a tray adapter. The cost of a dedicated film scanner is astronomical, and at that price, I may as well get a back.

I've only shot/developed film once before - but I'd like to think I'm quick to learn so I should be able to pick it up rather quick again.

I suppose another possibility - since the film camera would be my patient time sink, I could look into a Sinar F since they can be had for around the price of a Hasselblad these days.

Any suggestions?
« Last Edit: September 20, 2009, 08:39:05 PM by SCQ » Logged
BobDavid
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1075


« Reply #1 on: September 21, 2009, 10:24:03 AM »
ReplyReply


Any suggestions?
[/quote]
Dale Laboratories in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is reasonable for scans and it does good work (dalelabs.com).
Logged
SCQ
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 23


« Reply #2 on: September 21, 2009, 11:09:07 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: BobDavid
Any suggestions?

Dale Laboratories in Ft. Lauderdale, FL is reasonable for scans and it does good work (dalelabs.com).

The idea is to do it myself. I don't want to have to send stuff away and wait days or weeks. Also, I'd like to keep expenses lower and be more involved in the process.
Logged
BobDavid
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1075


« Reply #3 on: September 21, 2009, 12:45:11 PM »
ReplyReply

I've heard that the Epson Perfection V750-M Pro Scanner is considered a good flatbed scanner for the money. It has wet scan capabilities. You might want to do some research on it to see how well it does with MF B&W.
Logged
Pedro Kok
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 31


« Reply #4 on: September 21, 2009, 01:36:46 PM »
ReplyReply

Film scanning abides to the "affordable, fast, good quality: pick two" rule. These variables have particularities of their own, such as what you and I consider affordable may differ greatly. Flatbed film scanning is indeed affordable, and can lead to pretty good results for web and small printing. The Epson V700 and V750 scanners are a good bang for the buck, as they offer quality scans for around $600. I've seen great images scanned with the V700 by Portuguese landscape photographer Nană Sousa Dias.

The main problem with film scanning is speed. Not primarily that of the scanner, but of the whole workflow. If all cleanliness aspects of the film are followed – no fingerprints, marks, dust – which is something that even the most tidy laboratory worker has problems, it can take anywhere from thirty minutes to two hours to get a decent, well processed scan good for printing. Remember that no scanner can remove dust and scratches from silver-halide black and white negatives, so spotting and retouching is inevitable. Multiply all that work by twelve exposures, and suddenly you find yourself spending more time in front of the computer than outside taking pictures.

Considering that you want to develop in-house, add up all the effort, time and expenses of chemical mixing, storage, and darkroom maintenance. If you shoot sparingly, you might want to gather a couple dozens of rolls to develop all at once, and thus use fresh chemicals rather than keeping them stored for extended periods of time. In the end, it might be actually faster to have them processed externally than doing it at home. Of course, if the personal involvement aspect is of great importance, none of this will matter.

If you have a complete darkroom, with development and enlarging equipment, I suggest sticking with contact prints and small enlargements. If a picture deserves a large print, send it out for drum-scanning. Though you pay the steep price, the quality is worth it and the hassle is minimum. If you don't have an enlarger, the Epson scanners might be a good starting point, though drum-scanning may be needed for large prints.

In the end, when you think it'll take a couple of minutes and some effort to scan film, you actually find out you've spent the last two hours trying to get it right, you've neglected your spouse or family member's cry for attention, the magic hour lights are long gone and all you do is curse Adobe. I like going through that some, but not all, times.

Pedro
« Last Edit: September 21, 2009, 01:37:41 PM by Pedro Kok » Logged

SCQ
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 23


« Reply #5 on: September 21, 2009, 02:13:57 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Pedro Kok
...

In the end, when you think it'll take a couple of minutes and some effort to scan film, you actually find out you've spent the last two hours trying to get it right, you've neglected your spouse or family member's cry for attention, the magic hour lights are long gone and all you do is curse Adobe. I like going through that some, but not all, times.

Pedro

Haha. Well said. I never thought that much about the post work. The thing about LF is the cost. It's a lot cheaper than a MF back, and I really would like to control all aspects of my image. If it weren't for the experience and control, I'd just get myself a 5D again and save the hassle. Even with an MF back, they don't quite cover the full 6x6 size, let alone 4x5. I also have a thing for the messy black edges you get with LF shots.

My school has an enlarger, but if this is going to be an investment longer than anything short-term, I'd have to find a way to do everything myself.

Any pointers on film development?
Logged
sergio
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 661


WWW
« Reply #6 on: September 21, 2009, 04:30:21 PM »
ReplyReply

I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.
Logged

SCQ
Newbie
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 23


« Reply #7 on: September 21, 2009, 05:34:20 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: sergio
I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.

I agree with that wholeheartedly. After shooting DSLRs for four years, I just felt out of touch with them. They truly are a wonder of modern engineering and technology - those little Japanese robots - but I just lost interest in shooting. I saw a Leica M6 in a used bin at a store, and after holding it for 2 minutes, I instantly knew I wanted to shoot one - so I did the extreme: I sold my entire kit and bought a Leica and I haven't looked back since.

I think a view camera, as painful the workflow seems now - especially for me who grew up with the instant gratification of instant playback on digital, would be a good tool. Perhaps not only can I learn more about optics, but perhaps connect with my subject better, and teach me a little patience - something my generation certainly lacks.
Logged
SecondFocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 463


WWW
« Reply #8 on: September 21, 2009, 10:29:45 PM »
ReplyReply

I very much agree! There is something about shooting digital and looking at the screen on the back that makes it all too "mechanical" or in this age "digital" for me, although I do it daily, weekly as what I do. When I shoot with my Mamiya 645 AFDII with film backs or my Contax G1 I feel more engaged with the photography and what or who I am shooting.

Quote from: sergio
I find interesting that this discussion almost always is centered around IQ and workflow. I think a very important point is missing, and that is the difference that the actual shooting on one's mood or psyche has, using different cameras, media and lenses. When I find myself uncreative or blocked it really helps to put on a lens you almost never use, or put down the 35mm and take out a 4x5. The camera choice reflects in the way we are inspired and the way we connect with the subject.
Looking thru a ground glass can be a very inspiring act that could otherwise not be if shooting thru an APS-C camera viewfinder. I love my RZ viewfinder and it motivates me to shoot, when 35mm doesn't. It puts me in a good mood for shooting. This fact outweighs  in some instances, IQ, workflow, and other conveniences. Maybe I overrate this, but the viewfinder is probably the most important feature of a camera for me. I connect to my images thru the viewfinder, and it has to be a pleasure to use, otherwise I miss part of the photographic xperience.
Logged

Ian L. Sitren
SecondFocus
Imaginara
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 114


« Reply #9 on: September 23, 2009, 03:22:54 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SecondFocus
I very much agree! There is something about shooting digital and looking at the screen on the back that makes it all too "mechanical" or in this age "digital" for me, although I do it daily, weekly as what I do. When I shoot with my Mamiya 645 AFDII with film backs or my Contax G1 I feel more engaged with the photography and what or who I am shooting.

Ian,

You should try Large Format photography =) I shoot digital for my bread & butter, Medium format and Large format when i want to have fun shooting. And occasionally i do get a client that wants me to shoot like that even though they know they will have to wait for the results a bit.

I develop myself (both medium and LF) and scan with an Epson (just to keep it on topic  V500 right now, but going to upgrade to a 750 so i dont have to scan the 4x4's in steps.
Logged
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #10 on: September 24, 2009, 03:07:05 AM »
ReplyReply

I, too, would love to be the owner of either a 500C or CM again, but have no interest in a digital back! Eating sems a better option.

Anyway, to the point: colour processing via a lab is based on the theory that the lab understands what the film/chemical makers require that lab to do - standardize. Black/white film processing, differently, becomes part of your technique and few photographers do it in exactly the same way and a lab will certainly not know your way nor give a s**t what it is: one size fits all.

Flat bed scanning may be more available, pricewise, but then why buy a Hasselblad? Any old roll-film camera will be more or less as good as the next one unless you are going to follow strict disciplines and aim for top quality throughout. That, unfortunately, means big bucks in scanners, which is why I no longer think in fond terms of going back to 120 film. I do have a good 35mm film scanner, but after dealing with a lot of old work and converting it to fit a computer, its appeal is low, sinking lower as film costs rise and labs for E6 vanish. My Nikon film body sits there doing nothing.

I dismantled the darkroom years ago and now sometimes think I should make a simple lightight system for a bathroom, load spirals there and then process in the kitchen. Developers are not a problem due to keeping properties; yes, if you make it up in gallon flasks, but if you go for the one-shot stuff like Neofin Blue or Red you don't have the problem and can deal with most b/w films you are likely to need. When I was running my photo business I only used one film developer: D76 1+1. Worked for everything and did it well. But of course, you need through-put to make it make sense to mix in bulk, or it will go off.

My advice would be to forget wet printing. Exciting initially, it becomes a chore, however good you are. The digital route has to be the way to go, but then it comes down once more to money, skill and printers, none of which comes cheaply, any more than in the film or digital capture side of the equation.

Rob C
Logged

Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #11 on: September 24, 2009, 04:05:43 AM »
ReplyReply

Does anyone use a MFB/view camera/macro lens to digitise transparencies?

Using a 60Mpx back, a Sinar/apo-digitar macro and the condenser/film holder from and old enlarger it should not be complicated ...and you could correct perspective optically.
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #12 on: September 24, 2009, 05:26:09 AM »
ReplyReply

But isn't the point of the exercise to avoid having to buy an MF back?

Rob C
Logged

Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #13 on: September 24, 2009, 10:10:52 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Rob C
But isn't the point of the exercise to avoid having to buy an MF back?

Rob C
That is the methodology for many people, but my theory is to make good use of what one has, and if one has a large collection of transparencies that one has not (had) digitised, and one has upgraded to a (60Mpx) digital view camera system, and one has an Apo-digitar Macro, and an old enlarger... how would the (shift and stitched 100Mpx) files compare with drum scans?

You could digitise from 35mm to 5 * 4 with an Apo-Digitar Macro, and use a pseudo-macro or close up lens for 10 * 8.

The process would be very much faster than any scanner, would it not?
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
nik
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Posts: 202


WWW
« Reply #14 on: September 26, 2009, 01:29:56 PM »
ReplyReply

I tried this a while back with C41. Yes, it's faster than scanning - by a long stretch. But I found myself going back to the imacon and scanning as the software did a much better job of turning the image positive and getting the color right as opposed to shooting into capture one and then trying to turn my images pos in Lightroom / Camera RAW by flipping curves.

Shooting E6 with your setup sounds a good solution. Are you shooting emulsion up? One guy was also wet mounting for better results.

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
The process would be very much faster than any scanner, would it not?
Logged
Dick Roadnight
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 1730


« Reply #15 on: September 26, 2009, 03:28:04 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: nik
Are you shooting emulsion up? One guy was also wet mounting for better results.
I  have not actually done it - but I have the kit to do it.
Logged

Hasselblad H4, Sinar P3 monorail view camera, Schneider Apo-digitar lenses
Rob C
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 12213


« Reply #16 on: October 01, 2009, 03:22:11 AM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
I  have not actually done it - but I have the kit to do it.



Is this thread taking a strange turn - something slightly less suitable for family viewing?

Rob C
Logged

DanielStone
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 552


« Reply #17 on: October 12, 2009, 10:36:43 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: SCQ
Haha. Well said. I never thought that much about the post work. The thing about LF is the cost. It's a lot cheaper than a MF back, and I really would like to control all aspects of my image. If it weren't for the experience and control, I'd just get myself a 5D again and save the hassle. Even with an MF back, they don't quite cover the full 6x6 size, let alone 4x5. I also have a thing for the messy black edges you get with LF shots.

My school has an enlarger, but if this is going to be an investment longer than anything short-term, I'd have to find a way to do everything myself.

Any pointers on film development?


ONE WORD...... JOBO....


once you go there, you're spoiled rotten. E6(slides), C41(negs) and b/w. It can do it all.

check out http://www.apug.org/ and do some reading. Or PM me here. There are buttloads of these out there, I use one myself, and it lets you still process yourself, but it controls the temp, and rotates for you. Another advantage is that it uses less chemistry. Not sure how much you shoot, but I average 15-20 rolls of 120 film a month, and I do all my own c-41 120/220. I haven't been able to get 4x5 down totally yet, so for now, I send it all to Samy's Camera in Santa Barbara. check out their website, the prices are current.

http://www.samys805.com/film-processing/

you can mail your film to them, and the return shipping is free (if you're in the US that is).

but definitely look at Jobo. I use it for LF B/W, but I let samys handle my LF color. No problems so far, just beautifully processed sheets of film!

Sinar F's are a thing of beauty btw, get one if you can get the chance. Go with an F2 though, more current, and better made than the F1's.

-Dan
« Last Edit: October 12, 2009, 10:37:21 PM by DanielStone » Logged
DanielStone
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 552


« Reply #18 on: October 13, 2009, 06:48:33 PM »
ReplyReply

Quote from: Dick Roadnight
Does anyone use a MFB/view camera/macro lens to digitise transparencies?

Using a 60Mpx back, a Sinar/apo-digitar macro and the condenser/film holder from and old enlarger it should not be complicated ...and you could correct perspective optically.


use a drum scanner. or a Kodak IqSmart2 or 3. much more universal. and better quality with wet mounting.

anything that has the name Aztek, Creo or Kodak IqSmart is GOOD juju for digitizing film.

remember, these are the rolls-royces of their fields. They aren't cheap, but the quality is terrific, and you don't have the quick turnover like the MF digi backs.

-Dan
Logged
SecondFocus
Sr. Member
****
Offline Offline

Posts: 463


WWW
« Reply #19 on: November 03, 2009, 09:47:23 PM »
ReplyReply

Two photos shot on Kodak 400nc and drum scanned. The camera was a Mamiya 645AFDII and if I recall it was the 150 3.5 AF lens. This was on stage at a bodybuilding competition, stage lighting which was pretty dark for 400, would have preferred 800. I like the skin tones, colors; no white balancing required

Logged

Ian L. Sitren
SecondFocus
Pages: [1] 2 »   Top of Page
Print
Jump to:  

Ad
Ad
Ad